Back before our family moved to Long Island in 2007, a friend sent me The Singing Wilderness by Siguard Olson. I’d never heard of the author, but I became a fan. His writing mirrors my own spiritual longing for the quiet beauty of nature.
Here’s Olson: “Joy comes from simple and natural things; mist over meadows, sunlight on leaves, the path of the moon over water. Even rain and wind and stormy clouds bring joy.”
Olson is right, and his words ring even truer these days, with the 24-Hour news cycle, and the multiple ways to stay connected. It’s good to be connected, and helpful to stay in touch with friends and the news of our community and world. But it’s also good to have some down-time. We’re restored when we go intentionally quiet.
Summer is here, and a good time for our family to gather to spend a few days together, here and there. Some of us will sit on the beach in the morning mist, others will paddle silently through the water for a picnic on a sandy shore, listen carefully for gulls in the evening, or watch the stars stretch across the dark dome of the horizon.
I hope each of you finds a way to discover again the joy of “simple and natural things” this summer. It could be an hour or two on a park bench, or a rented canoe, or a stroll along the docks at the Bay. Find time to relax into what Wendell Berry calls “the peace of wild things.”
I encourage you to link the joy of a quiet summer day with your own spiritual life. We are, after all, creatures of the Creator of this wondrous world. We belong in the wild. Deep in our beings we ache to rediscover the hearty of God in the splendor of creation. So let’s offer gratitude when we do!
Here’s Olson again: “Wilderness to the people of America is a spiritual necessity, an antidote to the high pressure of modern life, a means of regaining serenity and equilibrium.”
We Islanders are blessed with miles of ocean shore-line, meadows and forests, parks and quiet ponds, refreshing rain and abundant sun. Let’s remember to go out into the natural wonder where we live and praise the Creator, from whom all things come!
See you in church.
Grace and peace, Pastor Jeannine